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Nature You Meet in the Mountains #4

Flora & Fauna of Korea #4

Korea.net publishes a series of articles, “Nature You Meet in the Mountains,” about the peninsula’s mushrooms, insects, trees and herbs & flowers. This week, we bring you a damselfly, a pine tree, an edible mushroom and a perennial flower.

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Insects

Name: 시골실잠자리 (Sigol siljamjari)
Scientific Name: Coenagrion ecornutum Selys
Distribution: Korea, northeast China, Japan, Sakhalin and Siberia

This damselfly has an average body length of 23-24 millimeters and a wingspan of 15-16 millimeters. Males have wide black stripes in light blue patterns across their whole body. The back, divided into nine abdominal segments, has little heart-shaped black dots. Females have relatively shorter light blue patterns and larger black stripes, compared to those of the males. The female abdomen is larger and longer than the thorax.

Ecology: This species shows no territorial aggressiveness, common among damselflies. The Coenagrion ecornutum can be found from the middle of June to the middle of August. Larvae are found around marshes and lakes. Larvae are yellowish green, elongated and delicate.

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Trees

Name: 소나무 (Sonamu)
Scientific Name: Pinus densiflora Siebold & Zucc.
Type: evergreen with needles, very tall
Blooming season: May
Bearing season: September
Distribution: mountains nationwide

This pine tree has an average height of 35 meters and is generally 1.8 meters in diameter. It is usually found in the mountains. Its bark is reddish brown while the older trees are dark brown. The needles grow in two clusters. This monoecious tree gives bloom to an oval-shaped male flower and to an egg-shaped female flower. It bears egg-shaped fruits that are yellowish brown. The seeds are oval-shaped and dark brown.

Pine trees are widely used for both medical and culinary purposes.

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Mushrooms

Name: 갈색털고무버섯 (Galsaekteol gomubeoseot, Brown Fur Gum Mushroom)
Scientific Name: Galiella celebica (Henn.) Nannf.
Type: Saprophile spore
Print: yellow
Edible

This edible mushroom grows alone or in clusters from rotten branches and stems of fallen trees.

The body is on average 3-7 centimeters across and 2-5 centimeters thick. The shape varies from a semi-sphere to a top-down circular cone. It is dark brown. A gelatin layer in the tissue makes it elastic. The surface of the body is wide and slightly concave. There are fluffy soft hairs of mycelium around the outer border.

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Herbs & Flowers

Name: 고비 (Gobi)
Scientific Name: Osmunda japonica Thunb.
Full bloom: April to June
Distribution: mountains nationwide

This perennial grows 20 to 30 centimeters tall in mountainous areas. The subterranean roots grow at a slanted angle. The petiole, or leaf stalk, is similar to lamina, or the leaf blade.

The leaf blade is triangular with a wide surface and has pinnate compound leaves. The edge is saw-toothed. The sporophyll comes out normally in April before the trophophyll appears. The sporophyll is shorter than the trophophyll and has pinnate compound leaves with a densely planted sporangium. The dispersion process makes the spores disappear.

You can eat the fresh sprouts. It is delicious and nutritious, often called the “beef of the forest.”

*This series of article about Korea’s insects, trees, mushrooms and herbs & flowers has been made possible by the cooperation of the Korea National Arboretum.

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